Robert Roe

I’ll apologize in advance for an un-PC take on a topic that usually gets the full Politically Correct treatment. If you disagree, as always, you are cordially invited to do so. Just don’t expect me to share your view.

The categories of our species run the gamut from mean to nice to altruistic to narcissistic and everything in between. And then there is the bully. This is a sub-set of human stupidity that deserves a special place in Hell for all its adherents.

Bullies are a throwback to our Neanderthal cousins, who had more muscles on their arms than between their ears. Unfortunately, that stain in the gene pool somehow survived natural selection and thrived through millennia to bring their own brand of misanthropy to what otherwise would be a relatively civilized world.

A viral video making the rounds this week is sad for two reasons: the fact that bullying still exists, and that it takes a social media explosion to bring the topic occasionally to light.

This outrage inducer comes from Tennessee, where a Knoxville woman posted a video of her son talking about how he was being bullied in middle school. Keaton Jones' Mom, Kimberly, had to pick up her son from school because he was afraid to go to lunch.

In the video, Keaton describes how fellow students called him ugly, made fun of his nose, and told him he had no friends. Not content with verbal assault, these fine citizens upped the ante to physical assault, pouring milk on him and stuffing lunch meat down his clothes.

You know, when I was in school, there were always adults present during lunch. Were the people responsible for protecting kids like Keaton scared of the bullies themselves, or just derelict in their duties?

Keaton brings up a valid question in the video. "Why do they bully?" he asks. "What's the point of it? Why do they find joy in taking innocent people and find a way to be mean to them? People that are different don't need to be criticized about it. It's not their fault." Anyone want to field that question?

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With over 22 million views, the message has spread across the nation. Celebrities ranging from actor Chris Evans to Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James to race car driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. have chimed in to show Keaton their support.

Here is where I diverge from popular opinion. Ralphie Parker, in the holiday classic “A Christmas Story,” had it right when he finally gave neighborhood bully Scut Farkas what was coming to him. Toady Grover Dill, too.

Snoop Dogg said online that "love is the only way to beat hate." I offer a different view. Perhaps a “what’s good for the goose” approach is in order. Would it be unethical to hire a Schoolyard Goon to administer a little Playground Justice to bullies? Just wonderin’.

In this brave new world of “everybody gets a trophy,” I humbly suggest, for starters, that Juvenile Laws be taken off the books and that every human being, from the womb to the tomb, get treated in the judicial system as an adult. After all, having an eighteen-year pass without serious consequences for bad behavior doesn’t exactly incentivize our youth to act more responsibly.

My folks were of the “it only lowers you to their level” school of parenting. Which meant I got bullied in school and didn’t fight back, thinking that taking the high road made you a better person. All it really does is make you an easier target. What bullies need is a hot steaming taste of their own medicine. A beverage I sincerely hope they choke on.



Editor and reporter, covering Mason County.

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